Help Plan My Long Weekend in Istanbul
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
This is an installment in my Istanbul: End of Year Mileage Run with Dad series. Posts include; Cheap Istanbul Flights: From $576 Total Roundtrip on Delta from JFK, Help Plan My Long Weekend in Istanbul, Flight Review: Alitalia JFK-Rome in Coach, Hotel Review: Westin Excelsior Rome, Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Istanbul Spa Room, Istanbul Eats and Excursions.
My Dad emailed me about a month ago asking if I knew of a way to get 7,000 Delta Medallion Qualifying Miles cheaply? I immediately emailed him back that he could get the Amex Delta Reserve Card and he'd get 10,000 MQMs with his first purchase - which will post towards 2011 status as long as he spends it in 2011.The card costs $450 a year, but gives SkyClub access, higher upgrade priority and a free companion ticket (including first class) every year. The benefits can greatly outweigh the annual fee, especially in the first year since Delta is selling 10,000 MQMs for a whopping $895!
However, that same evening I caught wind of ~$550 fares on Delta/Alitalia/KLM to Istanbul. I've never been and I know my Dad hasn't either so I thought this would be a great chance to rack up elite miles and use some of the hotel points I've amassed this year through various promotions.
In the end, I was able to build in 3 nights in Istanbul and 1 night in both Rome and Amsterdam. I've been to the last two and have friends/tons of recommendations, but I have been so busy I haven't done much research on Istanbul. I don't think I've ever heard of someone disliking Istanbul, so I'm sure we are going to have a great time.
So as always - I'd like to hear from the legions of sage TPG readers - what should we do for four days in Istanbul?